After our week in Makarska, Miloš and I grabbed a bus to Split, just a little further up the coast. The lower portion of Croatia is part of a region called Dalmatia. Here’s a handy-dandy map to help you out….
(You can see Makarska there in the south, and Split is there a bit further north and west from Makarska. And if you remember, Miloš hometown of Crikvenica is all the way up the coast, just a little below Rijeka.)
It was less than two hours to get to Split from Makarska.
When we got on the bus, we called the landlady of the next place we’d be staying so we could coordinate our meeting place. The “check in” place was not the same as where we were going to be staying. So once we got to the city, we had to haul our heavy luggage several blocks to one location, meet her, then haul our stuff a few more blocks to get to where we’d be staying. The heat wave had not broken, and we were in the middle of city streets in 100ºF weather with the sun beating down on us. Needless to say, I started to not feel so great. Luckily, once we got to the apartment building, Miloš was able to haul our big bags up to the 3rd floor where our room was. Thank GOD for air-conditioning, ’cause we needed it the whole stay. (We left it running the entire time, nonstop.)
We took a bit of a nap once we were settled in. Then we headed out to find food and check out the old town area.
To read about all of our dining experiences, check out *THIS LINK*
That first meal was not great. (It was the restaurant I DON’T recommend in that there link just above.)
I do have to say this about Split – the old town is really a sight to see. It’s beautiful – truly. However, we both agreed that we should have done maybe TWO nights in Split instead of four. We would have liked more time in Makarska, as Split is an historic city with no good beaches or anything like that. It’s great for the old town, which can be seen in just a couple days. But past that, there wasn’t as much that interested us. (But it also serves as a good place to have as a “home base” while taking various day trips to the islands or smaller beach towns.)
Here’s a little bit of info on Split:
2nd largest city in Croatia.
Originally founded as a Greek colony.
About Diocletian’s Palace in the old town – it was built between the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD. Roman Emperor Diocletian – born in Aspalthos in Dalmatia. This was his retirement palace. Buildings in the palace “represent a transitional style of imperial villa, Hellenistic town, and Roman camp.” (unesco.org)
The palace area is really exquisite – it’s especially wonderful for taking leisurely strolls – day AND night. Here are some pics:
The beach in Split, is a crowded city beach. The main swimming area is a shallow bay/inlet which gives you lots of room to swim and play. We swam there for a little that first day, but our other “beach visits” were basically us laying our towels along the edge of the walk way near all the cafes and jumping off right into the water. There were several ladders along the edge to climb out, and tons of other people also had the same idea of where to cool off. We didn’t spend as much “beach time” in Split due to the lack of, well, an actual good beach area. And one day we did take a day trip out to Brela Beach. (I’ll have a separate blog for that little side trip coming up soon! Once I do, I’ll include a link here as well.)
Our first night in Split was quite an adventure, to say the least. After our amazing dinner that night at Restaurant Central, Miloš was feeling kind of wiped out. (And I had already been having a rough day due to my heat exhaustion earlier.) We decided to just walk around a little bit and call it an “early night” without going out drinking. Thank God for that. Long story short, Miloš woke me up in the middle of the night because he had a severe nose bleed that was still going strong after twenty minutes. In my half awake state, I almost fainted from seeing all the bloody tissues. (It was bad.) I had to sit down for two reasons. One: to not faint. Two: to start looking up things on the internet in hopes of stopping his nose bleed. (And to google where the closest hospitals were, just in case.) We tried all the things you’re supposed to do with no success. So after 45 minutes, Miloš called for an ambulance. We walked down to the street and waited only five minutes until it was there.
Of course, as soon as we got to the hospital and he got in to see the doctor, THAT was when his nose stopped bleeding. But I’m really glad we went. Better safe than sorry. I don’t even want to think of the what-ifs. We eventually got a taxi cab back to where we were staying and got some much needed rest.
As a result of all that, we took it easy most nights and didn’t go out drinking until our very last night in Split. (For those who don’t know, alcohol acts as a blood thinner and can potentially exacerbate bleeding.) Neither of us wanted to take any chances, so we kept everything more relaxed, and focused more on exploring the old town and having some really amazing meals. You can never go wrong if food is your focus! (Haha!) Needless to say, on this trip we both realized our love of truffle oil, and how it was amazing in pasta. And I personally have realized how much I freakin’ love Dalmatian prosciutto. (Which is cut thicker, and is a drier, saltier version of regular prosciutto. It’s soooooo good!)
I found a pic online of a traditional Dalmatian prosciutto plate. I did not get a specific platter exactly like this, but hot damn! It looks good, doesn’t it?
A random observation from Split…. I’ve never seen a higher concentration of shoe stores anywhere in my life. Shoe store after shoe store. I am pleased to report that I behaved myself and did not go into a single one of them! (Seriously!)
As I said, we spent a good deal of time walking around the old town area and exploring what it had to offer. There were lots of narrow streets with hidden treasures to be found – you never knew what you’d come across – a little shop, a nightclub, a restaurant, a statue… And so many restaurants around town had their own unique views of the city’s architecture. Nothing like a good meal and good scenery to go with it! One lovely evening, we got to see part of the opera company’s dress rehearsal of Nabucco being performed in the Palace courtyard – right there for everyone to enjoy. It was a nice little romantic moment – being there in this ancient magnificent palace, the evening summer air, listening to a beautiful aria, standing with our arms around each other…. sigh…. Now that was a moment I wish I could freeze in time.
Here are some more pics from our time in Split….